Unsorted Wild Birds

Shining Honeycreepers

The Shining Honeycreepers Cyanerpes lucidus is a small bird in the tanager family. It is found in the tropical New World from southern Mexico to northwest Colombia. It is sometimes considered to be conspecific (of, or belonging to, the same species) with the Purple Honeycreeper Cyanerpes caeruleus, but the two species breed sympatrically (same region) in eastern Panama and northwest Colombia.

This is a forest canopy species, but also occurs in forest edges and secondary growth. The Shining Honeycreeper is usually found in pairs or family groups. The female builds a shallow cup nest in a tree, and incubates the clutch of two eggs.


The Shining Honeycreepers is 10 cm long, weighs 11 g and has a long black decurved bill. The male is purple with black wings, tail and throat, and bright yellow legs. The female has green upperparts, a greenish-blue head, buff throat and buff-streaked bluish underparts. The immature is similar to the female, but is greener on the head and breast.

This species is similar to the Purple Honeycreeper, but the male of the latter species has a black belly, and the female lacks the blue tones of the female Shining Honeycreeper.

Shining Honeycreeper is easily distinguished from the larger Red-legged Honeycreeper with which its shares its range by the latter species’ leg colour and black mantle.

Call / Vocalization

The call of this honeycreeper is a thin high-pitched seee, and the male’s song is a pit pit pit pit pit-pit repeated for minutes at a time.

Diet / Feeding

It feeds on nectar, berries and insects, mainly in the canopy. It responds readily to the call of the Ferruginous Pygmy Owl.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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